Research & Evaluation Associate, Acacia Center for Justice (Remote/Brooklyn) - 2 openings

Full Time
Acacia Center for Justice
Mid Level

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, is a non-profit criminal justice organization that strives to build just government institutions and safe communities free from the scourge of racism, white supremacy, profit, and inequity that is pervasive in this country’s legal systems. Vera is an “inside” lane organization that drives change at scale with ambitious public sector leaders who share our commitment to building anti-racist, reparative systems that deliver justice.  Vera is committed to securing equal justice, ending mass incarceration, and strengthening families and communities.

About Acacia Center for Justice

The Acacia Center for Justice is a new non-profit created through a collaboration between the Vera Institute of Justice (“Vera”) and the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (“CAIR”) Coalition. The CAIR Coalition is a non-profit organization in the focused on providing legal assistance to adult and child immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region. CAIR adheres to the fundamental belief that all people – no matter their story – deserve to be free, safe, supported, and have access to a just legal system.

The objective of the Acacia Center for Justice (“Acacia”) is to expand on Vera’s work over the past twenty years in providing legal support and representation to immigrants facing deportation through the development and management of national networks of legal services providers serving immigrants across the country. Acacia’s goals are two-fold: to help non-profit service providers provide exceptional legal services to immigrants and to advocate for the expansion of these programs and the infrastructure critical to guaranteeing immigrants access to justice, fairness and freedom. Acacia will focus the collective power of both Vera and CAIR on delivering accountable, independent, zealous and person-centered legal services and representation to protect the rights of all immigrants at risk of deportation.

Why the Name “Acacia Center for Justice”

The Acacia flower was chosen for two reasons. First, it is a species of plant found almost everywhere in the world. Second, the Acacia flower historically represents regeneration, perseverance, and integrity. Much of our work with immigrants and refugees builds on these principles of shared humanity and our endless pursuit for justice in the American immigration legal system.

Please note: This career opportunity will begin as a position with the Vera Institute of Justice that will transition to Acacia Center for Justice on or before the July 1, 2022.

Who you are

The Research and Evaluation Associate is one of the founding positions at the Acacia Center for Justice (ACJ), created to support the mission of ensuring due process in immigration proceedings. ACJ is preparing to bid on a federal contract to administer a suite of programs that provide vital national immigrant legal defense and orientation services to adults and children facing deportation, in detention and following release. As a key part of this work, ACJ would be responsible for delivering high quality research, evaluation, performance monitoring, and data analytics. These programs and data reporting have been developed over the course of a decade at the Vera Institute of Justice.

This role involves supporting the team by taking ownership of research, evaluation, performance monitoring, and data analytics tasks that are components of broader projects. The Research and Evaluation Associate will produce analysis and manage routine reporting cycles under the supervision of senior research staff. They will have fluency in the team’s core subject areas and, over time, specialization and growth of skills that would allow them to manage products, supervise analysts or interns, and represent ACJ in conversations with external partners.

The Research and Evaluation Associate also collaborates with team members to advance project or initiative goals, by actively engaging in team meetings and program activities, and supports efforts to ensure ACJ's race equity and inclusion priorities are a core aspect of research, including in methodological approaches, publications, hiring and staffing, and external and internal research communications.

Data analysis, research, and evaluation

  • Build and maintain shared scripts in R to generate reports and summary program statistics.
  • Implement performance measurement/KPIs using statistical methods, in collaboration with senior research staff to measure progress toward program goals. 
  • Support senior research and evaluation staff in data organization and discrete analyses for quantitative analyses.

Data reporting and analytic management

  • Project manage routine and ad hoc reporting for immigration programs funded through federal contracts.
  • Oversee performance indicators/KPIs feedback loop in collaboration with program staff and subcontractors.
  • Identify opportunities to use data to support, and be responsive to, ongoing program management and oversight data needs. 
  • Manage relationships with external data engineers and data infrastructure subcontractors.

Communication and presentation of research

  • Present summary program statistics as data visualizations and dashboards to inform program management and service delivery and policy and programmatic recommendations.
  • Prepare data or background research for public-facing products including reports, fact sheets, or other publications.
  • Lead background research and literature reviews and integrate into public-facing products including reports, advocacy documents, or other publications under the supervision of senior researchers.

Data collection and management

  • Conduct data collection (program service data, large relational administrative datasets, quantitative instruments, etc.) in consultation with internal senior research and programs staff and external partners.
  • Oversee data quality controls including working with data and research analysts to support their work documenting and correcting data quality issues.
  • Maintain an understanding of developments in program support, program administration, and federal policy to inform data collection quality control and to contextualize trends.

Training and mentorship

  • Supervise and mentor research assistants, analysts, and/or interns on tasks as needed.
  • Training other staff members on new data management approaches being implemented.
  • Training and providing on-going technical support to internal and external database users, particularly as changes occur.
  • Participating in new database design and modifying existing databases.
  • Developing codebooks and database guides.

Responding to ad hoc requests and needs of internal staff and stakeholders

  • Prepare and/or present projects for IRB review, with support and approval of a Senior Research Associate or above.
  • Draft sections of research proposals in support of senior staff for the purposes of fundraising.
  • Creatively using available data and statistics to answer programmatic and policy questions.

What qualifications do you need?


  • Commitment to using research and analysis to address and undo racism and inequity in the immigration legal system required; lived experience preferred
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office programs, including Excel and Word
  • Fluency in at least one analytical programming language (e.g. R, Python), R preferred; ability to learn R while in the role required
  • In accordance with federal contracts, a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) check is required for this position. While this is not a current hiring requirement, this position may require Electronic Questionnaire for Investigations Processing (e-QIP) security clearance in the future (for additional information:


  • Bachelors degree + 3-5 years of relevant experience.  In lieu of a Bachelors degree, applicable work or life experience may be considered.
  • Master’s degree in a relevant field + 1-2 years of relevant experience
  • Fluency in a language other than English spoken by people impacted by immigration enforcement in the United States
  • Ability to work collaboratively using Git/GitHub

Compensation and Benefits:

The compensation range for this position is $72,000 – $74,100. Actual salaries will vary depending on factors including but not limited to experience and performance. The salary range listed is just one component of Vera Institute’s total compensation package for employees. As an employer of choice in our field, supporting Vera staff—both personally and professionally—is a priority. To do this, we invest in the well-being of our staff through other rewards including merit pay, generous paid time off, a comprehensive health insurance plan, student loan repayment benefits, professional development training opportunities and up to $2,000 annual for education costs and fees relevant to Vera work, employer-funded retirement plan, and flexible time and remote work schedules. To learn more about Vera’s benefits offerings,  click here.

Applications may also be faxed to:

ATTN: People Resources / Research and Evaluation Associate, Research, Acacia Center for Justice
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

As a federal contractor, and in order to ensure a healthy and safe work environment, Vera Institute of Justice is requiring all employees to be fully vaccinated and provide proof of their COVID-19 vaccine before their start date. Employees who cannot receive the vaccine because of a disability/medical contraindication or sincerely-held religious belief may request an accommodation (e.g., an exemption) to this requirement.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit



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